Catching up with Coach Murphy


FC Buffalo head coach Brendan Murphy takes the reins for the club’s seventh season, his fourth, when the club begins full training on May 9.

With a seemingly unending amount of preparation, scouting and recruiting ahead of a campaign to return to the NPSL playoffs, we sat down with “Murph” for a conversation on the season ahead, and what’s been on the mind of the manager.

Q: Four years in! What are you enduring memories from the first three years? Anything specific stand out?

A: First and foremost, I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this team for the last three years. I am thankful to have had (assistant coach) Bob Roach with me since the beginning of this journey. It’s been a great partnership and I have truly enjoyed working with him.

1491692_10152820367493222_8175598474785506880_nThere have been so many amazing moments throughout our time here. Making the playoffs in our first year was something that I probably didn’t fully appreciate until now. That was an accomplishment that I will always be proud of. So many goals and celebrations. Being on the sideline with those fans behind us every game is an unbelievable feeling.

If I had to pick one enduring image, it would be seeing the fans charging onto the field after we beat Erie for the first time in 2013. The joy and passion was just palpable. And of course, all the time we have spent away from the field, dealing with the day-to-day operations, the competition at practice sessions, and all of the tough decisions. It just makes those moments of exuberance so special knowing how much work has gone into making them possible.

[ FCB: 2016 schedule | 2016 roster | History ]

Q: You’ve always worked to keep a good mix of local and out-of-town talent, size and skill, experience and youth. What are you looking for in a player?


A: I think the number one thing we are looking for in a player is a winning mentality. We want to create a culture where every player has value and feels connected to the group and the community.

Every one of these guys puts in a ton of time and effort to be a part of this. We need players who have the competitive drive to keep fighting when we are down, keep pressing the gas pedal when we are up, and willing to do whatever it takes to help the team be successful.

I’ve said since I got here that versatility is one of the most important qualities that any player can bring to the club. It is a short season and there is very little room for error. We need soccer players who are able to play different positions and who are comfortable filling different roles within the team.

Q: What are your expectations for this season?

A: I have high expectations every time we step on the field. We have worked hard recruiting talented players who have the right mental approach to the game. I am also very aware that this league and our conference has gotten better and tougher every year. There are no easy wins.

I have tremendous respect for all of the coaches that we will face and I know they are all putting together very strong rosters as well. We will have to be at our best every game in order to be successful this year. My expectation is that we will be extremely competitive in every game and I feel confident that we will put on a great product all season long.

Q: We know that college coaches like the stability at FCB. What do you try to implement on Day One, and why do you think it has worked?


A: Accountability, respect, and unity. We need to be disciplined about our approach to training and games. We need to be a unified front, as a coaching staff, as an ownership group and as a team. And we need to have full respect for the opportunity to compete at this level, respect for our opponents and respect for our fans and how committed they are to this organization. If we can embody those qualities every day, we will be successful on the field.

Q: Off the field, we know you’re all about your family. Not that you’re swimming in time, but what are your favorite things to do outside the game?

A: I try to spend as much time as possible with my kids, my wife and my extended family, who are all regulars in attendance at FCB home and away games. I just appreciate everyone of them and I want to take advantage of every minute I have with them. When I get a free moment, I play basketball in a men’s league at Gloria Parks. That’s my big non-soccer event each week.

And honestly, I spend a lot of my time supporting a great friend and mentor, Nick Hillary, who is being wrongfully accused of murder. We have a growing coalition of us former teammates who have been working together to provide support for this man facing an unthinkable injustice. That is an every day process and I am shocked that it has gone as far as it has.*

*FC Buffalo supports our coach’s passionate belief in his friend, and his right to express his opinions. We make no statements other than to invite any interested parties to learn more about the case.

Q: You’ve played and coached here and abroad, training in England amongst other places. What are your favorite non-FCB soccer experiences?


A: Nothing can compare to the feeling of winning a national championship with my brothers from St. Lawrence University. Being a part of that team has been the driving force in everything I do. I am humbled, honored and I feel so fortunate every day to have been a part of something so special and to play for such special coaches, Bob Durocher and Mike Toshack.